PDT Staff Writer
Well-known Portsmouth attorney Gene Meadows is the newest member of Portsmouth City Council.
Council scheduled a special meeting for Thursday night with the purpose of selecting a replacement for former Fifth Ward Councilman John Haas who had resigned to apply for the position of City Solicitor. Haas subsequently received the appointment replacing Mike Jones who became magistrate of the Scioto County Common Pleas Court Domestic Court Division.
President of Council Rich Saddler called the meeting to order, allowed comments from the public on the business at hand, then retired to executive session for the next hour and a half. It was during the executive session that Council interviewed six people before returning to vote.
When the floor was open to nominations, Sixth Ward Councilman Steve Sturgill nominated Meadows. Fourth Ward Councilman Jim Kalb then entered the name of Chris Neff into nomination. Saddler conducted the vote by going in alphabetical order, meaning the five would vote first on Meadows. The vote was three to two in his favor. Council then voted on the Neff nomination, and the vote was again three to two in his favor.
It was at that point that First Ward Councilman Kevin Johnson reminded Council of Roberts Rules of Order which prohibits anyone from voting in favor of both candidates. A re-vote turned out two to three against Neff, giving Meadows the position.
"I’m pleased. I’m very pleased," Meadows told the Portsmouth Daily Times. "It’s an honor. It’s a privilege. Since I have come to this city I have really grown to love this city. I look forward to being able to serve the citizens of the Fifth Ward, and the city as a whole."
Meadows said there is no question as to what the biggest issue facing the city is.
"It’s the same as almost everywhere else. The biggest issue is employment," Meadows said. "We need employment. We need jobs. Employment creates income tax revenue. Creating the revenue allows the city to do what it needs to do."
Meadows said he has always tried to serve in whatever position he was in at the time.
"Since coming to Portsmouth and coming back into private practice, I haven’t done that," Meadows said. "I’ve been here long enough that it’s time to start serving and giving back to the community."
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at firstname.lastname@example.org